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Building on a Traditional Foundation

Scarafile_MichaelIn the following interview, Michael C. Scarafile, president of Carolina One Real Estate, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, in North Charleston, S.C., discusses the firm’s market presence, multigenerational approach to management, and more.

Region Served: Metro Charleston, S.C.
Years in Business: 12
Number of Offices: 12
Number of Agents: 950
Best Tip for Dealing With Difficult Clients: Be honest.
Most Creative Marketing Campaign You’ve Ever Run: We partner with our local minor league baseball team to give away $100 every time they hit a homer. We also have three agents working the stands at every game signing people up.
Most Effective Way to Motivate Agents: Work with them to set production goals, then hold them accountable.
Best Recruiting Technique: Ask open-ended questions.

What types of expertise do you bring to the leadership team at Carolina One Real Estate?
My mom went into real estate when I was five, and I began working with her as a summer job at 16, so I grew up putting signs in yards, prepping vacation rentals and handing out MLS books—all of which helped me experience the way the business used to be. When I came back to real estate after college and a few years practicing law, not only did I have that historical grounding, but I also possessed the skills to be a contemporary expert in the field.

What is the biggest role you hope to play in the company’s success?
My career goal is to help educate the public. Clients need to know that there are differences between real estate professionals and real estate companies and that they get what they pay for. It’s critical for our agents and company to help consumers understand why we aren’t the cheapest company in our market, and why we won’t try to be.

Your management team is shifting to predominantly Gen Xers. Please describe the benefits and challenges.
While our company has long maintained a traditional model where the best agent becomes the broker and helps build the company, today, nine of our offices are managed by Gen Xers and millennials. Not only does this allow us to build on a traditional foundation with new ideas, but this kind of vibrant management helps us appeal to younger agent recruits. These transitions bring in people who aren’t going to develop into seasoned managers overnight, so we account for a lot of development time, planning and investment on our part.

How does the close proximity of your offices help drive your 25 percent marketshare?
Proximity helps our agents and market presence. In fact, people say they see our branding everywhere, and wherever those clients are, there’s an office nearby. The proximity of our staff also allows us to maintain a better company culture, as we can easily get together for brainstorming, mastery meetings, holiday parties, award celebrations, guest speakers and training. Management can get together quickly and conveniently, as well. We’re not successful because we’re big; we’re big because we’re successful.

For more information, please visit www.leadingre.com.

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